Completely revised and expanded, What They'll Never Tell You About the Music Business reflects the realities of today's music industry and remains a must-have for music-lovers, songwriters, and record executives alike. In this comprehensive yet extremely readable book, author Peter M. Thall, a specialist in entertainment and copyright law, takes an in-depth look at all facets of the music industry. From how artists can best maximize their chances for long-term financial health to what snares and pitfalls to avoid when signing an employment contract, Thall discloses the hidden dynamics and unfortunate consequences of what really happens when a deal is prepared, contracts are signed, and promises are made.
The focal point of many aspiring artists and talented songwriters, the music industry sees just a tiny fraction of these creators reach financial success. In the pre-Internet world, recording labels and music studios would select the winners, but the structure of the industry is changing dramatically, both in financial and legal terms, as more and more people are creating and listening to music through various platforms and in different formats.
In the 3rd edition of his aptly named book, Peter M. Thall focuses on every aspect of the music business, highlighting the interests and potential benefits for all types of professionals and investors in this complicated universe of art creation and promotion. Just as the roles of songwriters, recording artists and publishers are changing, so is an outdated legal system trying to adapt to protecting the entrenched interests in a fast-changing industry.
Peter M. Thall is a veteran of more than 45 years of practicing law. He is currently a member of the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers and The Copyright Society of the United States, the Association of Independent Music Publishers (former Board member), Founding Member of the Entertainment Law Initiative of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. A graduate of Columbia University and The National Law Center of The George Washington University School of Law, Mr. Thall has represented the interests of many of the world’s greatest artists (from Simon & Garfunkel to Barry Manilow, The Average White Band, ABBA, Ric Ocasek and The Cars, Hall & Oates, Foreigner, Pat Benatar, The Irish Tenors, the world-renowned Soprano, Anna Moffo and many other popular and classical artists, producers and singer/songwriters to the author/composer of several of Disney’s and Dreamworks’ animated feature films.
He consults several public corporations which are facing music rights issues for the first time, as they utilize music in a wide variety of ways, from corporate parties to “hold buttons,” cell phones, and internal, as well as external, web sites. Mr. Thall also consults Internet companies that are discovering new and profitable ways of providing music to consumers.
The third edition of his book What They’ll Never Tell You About The Music Business: The Complete guide for Musicians, Songwriters, etc.the Myths, the Secrets, the Lies (& A Few Truths) was published in August, 2016, by Billboard Books via Watson-Guptill, a division of Penguin Random House.
Among his less traditional clientele, Mr. Thall has consulted the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and has represented numerous supermodels including Paulina Porizkova and Rachel Hunter, fashion photographers including Bruce Weber, Sheila Metzner and Pamela Hanson, and renowned sports photographer David Bergman, some of America’s most renowned chefs including the legendary San Francisco chef Jeremiah Tower, and Claudia Fleming, pastry chef of the Gramercy Tavern, author of the widely heralded recipe book The Last Course. Ms. Fleming is also featured in the recently published New York Times book celebrating the twenty greatest chefs in America which features photography by Mr. Thall’s stepson, Vincent Laforet, himself a renowned photo journalist. Mr. Thall also has acted as special counsel to the National Basketball Player’s Association regarding endorsement and merchandising matters.
Mr. Thall is a frequent contributor to industry trade magazines such as Billboard and has appeared innumerable times on television news programs as an expert on such issues as celebrity endorsements, copyright law and the First Amendment.
Mr. Thall is a Board member of the prestigious New York Festival of Song, founded by the late conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, which is dedicated to the revival of the song recital.
During his career, Mr. Thall and his professional associates have specialized in all areas of entertainment law and intangible rights with particular emphasis in music, film, theater, television, literary merchandising and endorsements, fashion, design and photography. They count among their clients winners and nominees of such prestigious awards as the Academy Award, the Grammy Award, the Tony Award and the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the Palme D’Or. Their clientele has always encompassed a wide variety of artists at the top of their professions, including directors, producers, authors, actors, both popular and classical music performers and recording artists, fashion models, photographers, designers, dancers and theatrical composers and writers.
Mr. Thall was the Associate Producer of the highly praised PBS Special: The Papal Concert to Commemorate the Holocaust, and handled all media responsibilities for the concert at the Vatican that NBC News called “one of the great success stories of the 20th Century.”
Among his areas of expertise are: Copyright Law; Executive Employment Agreements and Compensation agreements; Acquisitions and Mergers in the music publishing and recording fields; all transactions generated in the domestic and international music publishing and recording fields; and providing corporations with copyright compliance services in their internet-related businesses.
“Whoever reads this book is getting expert advice from one of the most respected and knowledgeable players in the music industry today. I wish this book was available when I was looking to begin my career in the music business.”
“Peter Thall has made it his business to know everything that’s worth knowing about the music world, and now he’s sharing it with the world at large. I’m frequently asked for the insider’s view of the industry, and I always point them to Peter’s very useful and informative book.”
“This book gives you the real deal on the way the music business really works, whether you’re new to the game or even if you think you’re a veteran—from contracts to touring, good and bad money decisions, and even creating a team no artists should do without.”